I've loved this book since I stumbled upon it a number of years ago. I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but this one is so tightly plotted and suspenseful that it feels like you've finished an entire book by the time you're done. This reading is a good one - the narrator has a fairly deep and slightly rough voice that is a great match for the subject, and he rachets up the tension just enough as the story progresses. It's a great short listen!
I just finished this audiobook and I am still a bit wide-eyed. I really enjoyed it, and the last half was like a roller coaster ride, it just kept building tension until the last few minutes. This author knows how to keep my attention, that's for certain! I thought the premise of this story was very interesting – fighting hurricanes juxtaposed with the Bermuda Triangle – but the novel was even better than I had hoped. The first half, with explanations of how hurricanes can be fought, had just enough technical information to keep us science geeks happy but not drowning in the details. Although I did keep wondering what the results of an Environmental Impact Statement on the methods would be these days, it didn't detract from the story at all. For the big storms, people just want to save lives and will do almost anything to accomplish that goal. The second half of the book, once a giant storm had appeared as if by magic (see previous Bermuda Triange reference) really pulled me along. I usually listen to books during meals, and I found myself sitting and listening with a fork hanging in the air. And lunches took a bit longer than usual. The descriptions in this book are quite vivid, and kept me visualizing the scenes and almost feeling that I was right there with the characters. I had to listen to the last two hours without stopping, because I couldn't wait to find out whether Mother Nature or Man won the battle … I thought the narrator was excellent for this reading. I don't think I've listened to her before, but I certainly would again. I suspect her voice and delivery style were part of what drew me along so well thru the narrative – she blended into the story so well that I didn't once consider what I liked or disliked about her reading until the book was done. I can't even now comment on what I liked, except to say that her tone of voice and pacing was very comfortable to my ear. But she let the story flow thru her exceptionally well, in my opinion. So, an excellent narration of an absorbing story, and I will definitely be reading more by this author.
I was fascinated by the description of this book, and once I started listening, the fascination continued. Rob and Trish MacGregor have written an excellent account of their exploration of alien encounters and alien abduction. Partly because there is little to no obvious judgment on their part on whether the encounters actually happened, I was able to reserve judgment and just listen to what they had discovered. They have an excellent ability to simply describe the events and let the reader decide for themselves what has really happened. I started the book feeling fairly skeptical, for although I absolutely admit to the probability of “otherness”, I have not had much contact with or done much research into this subject, and skeptical is usually where I start. By the end of the book, however, the descriptions of encounters by varied individuals and couples had me shaking my head and wondering … could it really be? The descriptions were clear and pulled me right along, and it was amazing how much commonality could be found between them. And synchronicity – how did I miss this word all my life? I had to go look up the definition, and then I was shouting “YES!” because I have felt the synchronicity in the world so many times without knowing what to call it. I learned quite a bit from this book, and consider it well worth the read for anyone wishing to know something about the subject without a “hard sell” approach. I thought the narrator, Kevin Pierce, was excellent for this type of book. His style was calm, clear, low key, and fairly slow, which worked very well for this subject matter. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed that type of delivery for a suspense novel, but for this one I thought it was perfect. The book translated quite well to audio, except for one complaint. I occasionally became confused as to who was speaking, the narrator or the person having the experience. I liked the style of writing with a main narrator throughout and various people’s experiences interwoven into the story, but a few more “he said,” or “she said” would have been helpful for the audio version. (I never thought I would say that!) But it was a minor complaint in the overall reading of an excellent book by a very appropriate narrator.
This conclusion to the trilogy, The Quest for the White Duck, was a very satisfying read. There are some great visuals in this book – an elevator with a different monster to defeat on each level, a forest of fire, and of course the bridge between worlds makes another appearance. Our hero, Gideon, is again confronted with a quest, this time to save the world once and for all from the horrifying Agnes, who comes into her total power on “her day”. But before Gideon embarks on this quest, the bridge to the pantry in his house reopens, and his experiences when he crosses back to his own world give new meaning to the phrase “You can’t go home again.” All the significant threads woven throughout the first two books are neatly wrapped up by the end of this book, and Gideon even gets the girl – sort of. Jack Checkijian was again the reader, and his wonderful story-telling style and ability to get the most out of the humorous situations in the book is a definite plus. I don’t think reading the paper book would be nearly as good!
I love finding a new series to enjoy, and the second book of The Quest for the White Duck trilogy doesn’t disappoint! I was glad to see that humor is an integral part of this novel, just as it is in the first book. Our hero, Gideon, successfully completed his quest in the first book, and at the beginning of the second is a bit at loose ends, wondering what he should be doing now with his life, in this strange new world beyond his pantry door. But before he arrives at a workable solution, a new emergency (luckily) arises, and Gideon must put away his angst and introspection and once again play the hero. This book has a dragon, a giant, and witches, in addition to a few other nasty little critters. Gideon and his team, including the giant’s niece, his friend the goat-horse Red, and the White Duck and her beau, take them all on, and though the outcome is in question a number of times, the conclusion is quite satisfactory. I was happy that Jack Checkijian was again the reader for this book, as he handles the humor and Gideon’s questioning of his quest mates so well. I can’t wait to listen to the third book!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you're looking for non-stop action, edge-of-your-seat suspense, or a complicated mystery, this is definitely not the book for you, but it does have its own special charm. It's a book about a guy, Gideon Sunday, who is pretty down on his luck and knows it, but isn't really sure what to do about it. Then a very strange world opens up in his pantry ... yep, right there off the kitchen. He kills a monster and then accepts a challenge to help a lovely young lady from that world, and so begins his quest. The reader, Jack Checkijian, has a comfortable story-telling tone and does an excellent job of conveying both Gideon's faint bewilderment with his situation and his dry humor when things go wrong, as they inevitably do. Because, though his partners in the quest don't really want to tell him anything about it - ever! - he does eventually find out that he is on a quest for a duck ... a white duck. The reason for the quest, and the significance of the duck, only become clear near the end of the book, and Gideon's lack of understanding contributes to some priceless moments of humor. I thought this book was great low-key entertainment. Because really, who could resist a quest for a white duck???
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